skip to content

Darwin Correspondence Project

To T. H. Huxley   2 December [1860]

Down Bromley Kent

Dec 2d

My dear Huxley

I humbly beg pardon. I am getting old & dotty I suppose, for I was distinctly thinking of Von Baer & in both notes wrote von Siebold!1 The Lord have mercy on poor old noddle.— I have not read Phillips though it lies staring me in the face;2 for I have got fairly sick of hostile Reviews. Nevertheless they have been of use in showing me where to expatiate a little & to introduce a few new discussions. Of course, I will send you copy of new Edition.—

I entirely agree with you that the difficulties on my notions are terrific, yet having seen what all the Reviews have to say against me, I have far more confidence in the general truth of the doctrine that I formerly had.—   Another thing gives me confidence viz. that some who went 12 an inch with me now go further, & some who were bitterly opposed are now less bitterly opposed. And this makes me feel a little disappointed that you are not inclined to think the general view in some slight degree more probable than you did at first. This I consider rather ominous. Otherwise I shd. be more than contented with your degree of belief.—   I can pretty plainly see that if my view is ever to be generally adopted, it will be by young men growing up & replacing the old workers, & these young ones finding that they can group facts & search out new lines of investigation better on the notion of descent, that on that of creation.—

But forgive me for running on so egotistically. Living so solitary as I do one gets to think in silly manner of one’s own work.—

Ever yours very sincerely | C. Darwin


See letters to T. H. Huxley, 16 November [1860] and 22 November [1860].


Phillips, John. 1860. Life on the earth, its origin and succession. Cambridge and London: Macmillan and Co.


Is sick of hostile reviews but they have helped in showing where he must expatiate and expand in new edition of Origin.

Has more confidence in the general truth of his view. Disappointed THH does not think it more probable than he did at first.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Thomas Henry Huxley
Sent from
Source of text
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine Archives (Huxley 5: 149)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 3003,” accessed on 25 February 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 8